May 01 2011

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Unholy Alliance: Radical Homosexuals and Organized Labor

“Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.
G. K. Chesterton
English author & mystery novelist (1874 – 1936)

“(T)he foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; …the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained…”
George Washington, First Inaugural, April 30 1789

“Know your enemy”,
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

While we are focused on fighting the implementation of ObamaCare and fighting for limited government in Michigan and our communities, the radical homosexual activists are building their networks and alliances.

One of their partnerships is with organized labor and Unions. And their “one hand washed the other” relationship. In achieving each others’ goals through elections and influencing legislative policy with current lawmakers.

“Victory Fund”, an organization dedicated to “change the face of politics” by helping to get Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elected home is sponsored by SEIU and here in Michigan the LGBT activists were storming the Capitol along side organized labor during the recent “rallies” against the emergency manager bill.

And make no mistake, as evidenced in this interview, a chief goal of radical homosexual is “educating” (through misinformation)

The radical LGBT agenda is not about freedom as the indoctrination wants you to believe but the enforcement of an agenda whether you choose to believe or not. The trampling of our 1st Amendment rights where disagreement is met with attempts to silence opposing views, acts of violence by radical homosexual activists to anyone or organization(s) and outright hatred, especially against Bible believing Christians.

And right here in Lansing

and happening in other American cities

And who can forgot the campaign of hate and revenge enacted upon anyone who contributed or were perceived to contribute to Prop 8 in California

Not to mention that in some American cities, police look the other way from enforcing public nudity and lewedness laws WARNING: OFFENSIVE PHOTOS – NUDITY COVERED UP ON THIS WEBSITE


Below is an interview with Roland Leggett, Director Field Organizing, Equality Michigan and Michigan Field Director for the ACLU
Open Secrets Campaign Contributions Search showed no campaign Contributions for a Roland Leggett

Written by John Eynon
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 20:21

Michigan Policy Network

John Eynon: Tell me a little bit about yourself and Equality Michigan.

Roland Leggett: Ok well my name is Roland Leggett; Iʼm the director of field organizing here at Equality Michigan. Equality Michigan is Michiganʼs only statewide LGBT focused advocacy organization so there are a couple of different areas that we focus or specialize in. We have a victim services department that focus on supporting the community around issues relating to discrimination, hate crimes, to any sort of thing relating to that particular field. We also have a policy director who works out of Lansing and works on moving the dial legislatively in regards to LGBT issues. Thereʼs myself who is the director of field organizing; Iʼm kinda the grass roots guy, so public education, volunteer coordination, local advocacy, all those things I specialize in.

The overreaching goal that we have at this point – so the organization has a strategic plan that incorporates all these different moving parts in addition to a communications department and obviously a development department so we can fund it – all these moving parts are moving towards a goal at the end of five years of amending Elliot Lawson, the stateʼs civil rights law to include gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression. So thatʼs our main goal. Weʼre doing all these things over the next five years both locally and legislatively and with community advocacy with that being our main goal.

JE: So that would be when, 2015?

RL: Yes.

JE: What are some of the things Equality Michigan has accomplished in the past? When did you get started as an organization and have you made any real influence in the state?

RL: A lot of different things. The organization is about two years old and is the result of a merger between the Triangle Foundation and Michigan Equality. So the idea was that these two organizations had relatively similar missions but one was on the west side of the state and the other was primarily in the southeast; the idea behind this merger is that we would become this one big bad statewide organization and that would be more effective in moving forward our advocacy goals if we were a large organization that shared resources. In terms of the efforts weʼve accomplished over the last couple of years. We work really by department so in terms of field work – so Iʼm the first director of field organizing weʼve had so Iʼve only had a couple of months to accomplish anything . One of the biggest accomplishments weʼve had since Iʼve been here, and Iʼm sure youʼre familiar with all the labor rallies that have been going on around the country.

There was a huge labor rally that happened about three weeks ago in Lansing, so we were at the labor rally, we had about 30 volunteers there and we had a petition we were asking people to sign in support of collective bargaining.
So as a little bit of a backstory, several years ago the Civil Service Commission negotiated with the unions to extend whatʼs called “other eligible partner benefits” to union employeesʼ families. So the governorʼs administration and the legislature are hoping the commission would overturn this; theyʼre using fiscal concerns as an excuse to deny equal rights.

So we went to this labor rally and asked people to sign this petition in support of respecting collective bargaining and the decision of the unions and Civil Service Commission and we got over 1100 signatures and nearly 900 new email contacts.

So it really was a tremendous moment for the organization and for me personally because I think we do a really bad job in the LGBT community historically of coalition building of showing up when other organizations and movements need support and we also do a really bad job of recognizing that folks in the LGBT community are in unions, we are nurses and we are teachers we are fire fighters we are police officers so its not only just supporting other movements and other progressive causes but its also recognizing that weʼre supporting our own community by being a part of these conversations. So it was a great event and an emotional one too to see the response people had to us being there.

In addition to that we are planning town halls across the state as community education pieces to let folks know not only what weʼre working on, but the state of equality across Michigan. Iʼm really excited to say that we have a lot of non-discrimination ordinances, local non-discrimination ordinances in the works in communities across the state. So weʼre working on that. Iʼve got five communities right now that Iʼm working on actually servicing canvassing training with those folks and working with local municipalities to create more inclusive policies.

In terms of policy, our policy director is working with the state legislators as well as other organizations on everything from – as I mentioned before — the eventual amending of Elliot Lawson to include gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation to things that affect folks in the HIV/AIDS community – not even in terms of privacy but there is a tremendous amount of discrimination that can occur based on someoneʼs HIV status so weʼre working to make sure that there is policy and legislation that is in place to protect those individuals. Thereʼs bullying legislation that weʼre working coalitions with, second-parent adoption, all those things.

JE: I know you kind of touched on this, but how does your organization influence state and local policy makers? What kind of tactics to get them to support LGBT issues.

RL: Its interesting, a lot of it is education, in Michigan we have term limits on the state level – Iʼll talk about the state level and the local level – so on the state level we have term limits so we have to constantly be educating legislators on the reality of what is on the books and what isnʼt even some conservative legislators are shocked to know that employment nondiscrimination and housing nondiscrimination isnʼt something that is already achieved here in Michigan, so thatʼs a big piece of the puzzle. Also, diversifying our coalition so its not just us who are the messengers on these issues letting those legislators know that these issues are important to the community at large not just the LGBT community. A lot of things are happening on the local level as well, a lot of folks arenʼt aware that these protections arenʼt in place so… so much of it is education and again itʼs organizing individuals on the local level to put pressure on legislators at the state capitol and legislators in their own municipalities to let them these issues are important to them.

JE: What are some of the challenges that are currently facing Equality Michigan?

RL: In terms of our efforts?

JE: Yes. Like some of the things that are impeding you from achieving your goals.

RL: I think one of the number one challenges that weʼre overcoming right now is the lack of education that the LGBT community has on the rights that they actually have here in the state of Michigan. So again, forget about the fact that legislators arenʼt necessarily aware of these protections being in place; or the larger community, the LGBT community isnʼt necessarily aware of the challenges that they face. The marriage debate and donʼt ask, donʼt tell has really coopted the message for the LGBT community on the local level; people think that because thatʼs what people nationally are talking about thatʼs all they have to worry about, which isnʼt the case. I think thatʼs probably the number one challenge that weʼre overcoming at this point, educating our own community on the challenges they face. The second thing is broadening our coalition work in a really sustainable and effective ways. So again, making sure we arenʼt the only messengers on these issues; letting folks know that itʼs the community at large thatʼs concerned with this kind of stuff.

JE: Alright great, when you are going out and doing all of this, who are your typical opponents, people who are trying to push back and how do you guys handle that when you have someone thatʼs being… very not open-minded…

RL: Being open minded about it?

JE: Yeah, saying that youʼre wrong, youʼre sinners or whatnot?

RL: So hereʼs the story Iʼm going to tell about this - and my mother is going to kill me for telling you about this especially if it gets published – my mother is very socially conservative so several months ago when Andrew Shirvell was harassing that University of Michigan student, my mother and I were at brunch and she was just beside herself. And this is a woman who voted in favor of the marriage amendment in 2004, she votes conservative often times and she was just beside herself at this, that an assistant attorney general could basically harass this young man.
She was like if this was about race he would be in jail and I just cannot believe that this is OK and I stopped her and said: well wait a minute, when youʼre in church or something or when youʼre talking to your friends about these issues and youʼre encouraging each other or your pastor or someone that youʼre trust encourages you to vote against someone that is for legal protections based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression, this is what this means. It means you canʼt be harassed, this means you canʼt be fired from your job despite you being an excellent worker, this means you canʼt be denied housing or healthcare, this is what the face of that is. And that is when the light bulb went on for her; that its not just about sexual or emotional relationships that she doesnʼt understand and doesnʼt agree with its about peopleʼs lives and someoneʼs right to have housing or you know to live day to day without fear of harassment or violence.
So I think that often times when folks that are more conservative have those reservations I think that when weʼre able to have a conversation with them one on one about, more often than not people are much more willing to reexamine how they feel about something. I was at a speaking engagement a few weeks ago and one of the participants – we were talking about this – gave this really moving story about how heʼd dealt with homelessness and violence and how heʼs come out of that and heʼs a better person and heʼs able to contribute to the community much more. And I said your story is incredible but one of the problems is that you tell me your story; weʼre not having that conversation with the community about why these things are important we just talk to each other about it.

JE: So kind of a thread Iʼm picking up is that – would you say that education and educating people is one of the most important things that you guys do at Equality Michigan?

RL: Absolutely.

JE: Moving back to you, how have your views on state politics and policy changed since youʼve become involved with this organization? I know itʼs only been two months…

RL: Two months, yeah. Well a little bit of backstory about me, I was with the ACLU before I was here so Iʼve been in social justice for awhile, but… Iʼve always been a progressive person certainly and Iʼve been interested in and Iʼve been volunteering for years. I lived in Chicago for about 4 years and I have to say that when I came home, I started working with the ACLU and got much more well-versed on the state of politics in Michigan and I was shocked – I viewed as a much more progressive state than we are – particularly being from southeastern Michigan, I kind of lived in a bubble and you know had no idea that we had these challenges. So my perspective has changed in the sense that Iʼm much more realistic about the work that needs to happen here and the opportunities that we have and identifying how we need to move ahead more effectively.

JE: Paying attention to the prop 8 case out in California, do you think that has any possible ramifications for Michigan? With our constitutional amendment?

RL: Well yeah, I think it has a lot of ramifications. I think that certainly at some point this is going to get challenged to the Supreme Court so thatʼs going to have ramifications here in Michigan, but I think more importantly, I think that a couple of things are going to happen potentially. I think that as this case moves forward itʼs really important that the LGBT community be vigilant in education their neighbors and friends and family about what this actually means to them why family is important.

I that – this is me editorializing a little bit – a lot of the issue around the issue of gay marriage I think that people donʼt think about the protections that you enjoy when youʼre married to someone. I think that people think about a man in a wedding dress and so when you talk about hospital visitation and property rights and all those things that married folks enjoy, people donʼt think about that. They think about a man in a wedding dress and thatʼs weird to a lot of people. So I think that changing that conversation about how these things actually affect their lives is very important; by extension I think its very important that we not be completely distracted by whatʼs happening in California because as I mentioned before, we have a lot of work to do here legislatively in Michigan.

JE: That doesnʼt involve marriage.

RL: That doesnʼt involve marriage. Not that marriage isnʼt important, but employment nondiscrimination is very important, housing nondiscrimination is very important. Iʼm dating someone now and I used to joke with friends before that my ability to get married means nothing if Iʼm single and I get fired because Iʼm gay. So we have to remember those things too. Focus our energy and efforts and also focus on educating the community about why all these things are important and not just one particular thing because it happens to what everyone around the country is talking about.

JE: One final question, I know a lot of people who I interact with in the LGBT community are kind of saying: screw Michigan, weʼre getting out of here as soon as weʼre done [with school], a lot of them feel that there isnʼt a lot of hope for any progress being made in this state. What would you say to that, would you agree, disagree, or? Obviously youʼre fighting to make things better but if you were a young person fresh out of college would you stay in Michigan given other options?

RL: Well, I would certainly encourage people to stay. Let me say this because I just said I was in Chicago for four years so I canʼt really say “no one should leave!” since I left. I will say this: you heard a lot about this during the gubernatorial race about the brain drain in Michigan and about how so many people are leaving and oh my gosh, what are we going to do? We canʼt attract top talent.

So I was at a town hall with Rick Snyder - well it wasnʼt a town hall more of a community meeting – Rick Snyder was there so they were dealing as they were with the entire campaign they were talking about economics, economics, economics, so you know we have this brain drain situation what are we going to do? Well weʼre going to create/fund light rail and then weʼre going to put another stadium downtown and everyone is going to stay.

And I raised my hand during this community conversation – Iʼm always the spoiler whenever this stuff happens because everyone gets all excited about light rail and Iʼm excited about light rail too – and I said you know we keep talking about folks moving to LA and New York and Chicago and I said yes there is an infrastructure reality that those places have that Michigan does not have so we need to certainly recognize that and we need to rectify that. In addition, there is a social justice reality that those places enjoy that Michigan does not have so when you talk about employment nondiscrimination, you talk about housing nondiscrimination, those are protections that places like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta have that we donʼt — so we need to recognize that.

The folks that are interested in leaving – I would encourage them to tell their legislators that that is why they are leaving and remind folks in power that is why they are leaving. Also, the brain drain does not just affect economics; it affects politics, because the people who are leaving are the people who would vote. So the more people that leave, the more difficult it is to effect change. So I would encourage people to stay and vote.
And I would also encourage people to let their legislators know why they would want to leave.

JE: All right great, thank you for your time this afternoon.

Permanent link to this article: http://grassrootsmichigan.com/?p=711

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